Monday, April 19, 2010

WWE Raw is Smackdown Report

Date: 04/19/10 from East Rutherford, NJ.

The Big News: Tragically, R. Truth was instantaneously vaporized by fireworks in a horrible live television accident. He is survived by his NXT rookie David Otunga, his boots, and his immortal theme song, “What’s Up What’s Up What’s Up What’s Up. (What’s Up.)”

Show Analysis:

With most of the Raw crew stranded on the other side of the Atlantic, Raw featured mostly Smackdown wrestlers with a few Raw guys mixed in. HHH came out to start the show. He acknowledged the situation and cut a promo about beating up Sheamus on Sunday. The Straight Edge Society then came out. Punk noted that if he’s drafted he will bring the Straight Edge Society with him to Raw.

HHH asked Punk why his followers had to shave their heads but he didn’t. Punk said it’s because he’s the leader and his hair represents purity. HHH joked about Rey Mysterio shaving Punk’s head on Sunday. Punk tried to recruit HHH to the Straight Edge Society. HHH responded by ranting about freedom. Punk said that he wasn’t asking HHH to join bur rather telling him. The heels jumped HHH but Rey made the save as they tried to shave HHH’s head. Rey shaved off a little bit of Punk’s hair before Punk escaped.

This opening segment went awfully long, but Punk and HHH did a good job in making it entertaining as possible. I also liked the angle with Rey taking a little of Punk’s hair prior to the show.

Drew McIntyre beat Matt Hardy. They started in the ring. Seriously, they cut out the entrance of the guy who has nothing but an entrance. McIntyre hit punches and kicks. Matt used a side effect. They ran into each other head to head. Then Matt went to the second rope and was pulled off by McIntyre. McIntyre covered and that was in fact the finish. This was a bad match with a bad finish.

They aired a few brief promos from Belfast throughout the show. John Cena said that everyone’s fine and they’re sorry they can’t be at Raw. He said he would be ready for his match Sunday and vowed to be at the PPV for sure. Randy Orton said that the world title will follow him at the draft next week. Sheamus attacked a crew guy to make a point to HHH.

Vladimir Kozlov made his entrance. He said that he has been treated unfairly by the guest hosts and had Jerry Lawler read a statement for him. The statement said that he wants elite competition and suggested the New Jersey Nets’ new Russian owner is going to move the team.

MacGruber came out with an American flag, acting unbelievably obnoxious. He had that Dr. Ken air that said he was just making fun of the whole show, although admittedly the material seemed designed to fit that purpose as well. He got in Kozlov’s face and called him a giant pile of suck. Kozlov said that if MacGruber said anything more about him he would end MacGruber. So MacGruber made fun of Kozlov’s mom.

What was Kozlov’s response to this? Did he destroy this obnoxious little dipshit? Why no. He said that he would destroy MacGruber later in the show. Huh? Okay, now I don’t care about the fact this made Kozlov look like a joke as a monster heel. The truth is the ship sailed on people taking Kozlov seriously years ago. But just from a basic logic standpoint, why would this furious Russian giant just stand there and let this annoying little turd mock him and his family? Why did his revenge have to come later in the show? This made absolutely no sense, and was irritating because MacGruber was just begging to be killed.

As if this segment wasn’t fake enough already, they proceeded to go much further. MacGruber announced that Kozlov would instead have to wrestle R. Truth. R. Truth came out as MacGruber obnoxiously danced and shouted “what’s up.” Fireworks then went off to the sides of the stage as Truth stood in the middle. The flames went down and you saw Truth crouch down and run into the backstage area. Then they placed two boots on the side of the stage as if Truth had been blown up. This was elementary school play level execution. It appeared that the joke was that WWE is ridiculous, fake nonsense.

With Truth dead, Kozlov said that he would kill MacGruber. And in the final touch, now MacGruber was all scared. Apparently he knew earlier that for some reason no matter how much he antagonized Kozlov right to Kozlov’s face, Kozlov was somehow obliged not to do anything until later. But now he no longer had that protection. This was the sort of segment that enhances the perception that only mentally handicapped people are fans of 21st century WWE.

Backstage, HHH spoke with MacGruber. MacGruber pissed himself but claimed implausibly that someone else had peed in his pants and he had agreed to wear them. Kane came in at that moment and MacGruber claimed it was Kane. Kane was taken aback and MacGruber ran away.

Undertaker beat Jack Swagger. Swagger issued an open challenge, which led to the return of Undertaker. They traded head locks. Undertaker used old school. Swagger retaliated with a powerslam and sent Undertaker into the steps. Undertaker came back with a leg drop on the apron, DDT and snake eyes. Undertaker went for a choke slam but Swagger escaped. Swagger hit a DDT and went for the Vader bomb but was caught with a choke slam. Undertaker then hit the tombstone and pinned Swagger clean.

It was cool of WWE to bring back Undertaker as a surprise for the live fans who weren’t getting the show they expected. With that said, the way they keep jobbing out Swagger is so stupid. Putting aside the fact that the guy needs all the help he can get, it totally buries the title. Why would anyone pay to see a title match when the “champion” lost 80 percent of his matches prior to winning the title and is losing basically all of his matches after winning it? This is such basic stuff.

Chris Jericho backstage told CM Punk to stick with him to win the main event. He then advised MacGruber to offer a handshake to Kozlov and then slap him in the face. This evidently struck MacGruber as a good idea.

Kozlov was scheduled to wrestle MacGruber. MacGruber offered a handshake and then slapped Kozlov in the face. Kozlov grabbed MacGruber and head butted him a few times. MacGruber’s selling was among the worst I’ve ever seen in any pro wrestling match. He appeared to be unfamiliar with the concepts of physical violence and pain. Ryan Phillippe then came out to save MacGruber. He announced that this was a handicap match with MacGruber and Khaluber (Great Khali) versus Kozlov.

Kozlov for some reason let MacGruber go again. Kozlov and Khali tried to wrestle briefly and, well, at least it was better than MacGruber and Kozlov. Khali gave Kozlov the big chop and Kozlov left. Khali pursued and this was labeled a count out win for Khali and MacGruber. MacGruber then cut one final obnoxious promo. Sadly, he left the show without dying a horrible death. Maybe he will be drawn and quartered on a future PPV.

HHH, Edge and Rey Mysterio beat Chris Jericho, CM Punk and Luke Gallows. After all the nonsense on this show, it was nice to see a straight forward wrestling match to close. Rey hit a somersault plancha on the heels early. The heels took over on Rey. Rey got the tag to Edge, but Jericho tripped Edge as he went for a spear and the heels took over on Edge. Edge got the tag to HHH. HHH hit punches, a clothesline and a spine buster on Punk. He went for the pedigree but Gallows broke it up with a clothesline. Rey took out Gallows with a springboard senton. Rey hit the 619 on Punk and HHH hit the pedigree for the pin.

Final Thoughts:

I’ve ranted enough. This show blew.

13 Comments:

Anonymous Bob said...

Todd, you were much too kind in your review.

What I find fascinating is there were stories about how the writers were working all hours to redo the show, then we get this abomination. But then, of course we get this abomination, because when writers work like crazy on a wrestling show script, they don't put together a framework of solid matches with storylines to make them interesting. No, instead they write "entertaining" skits. Ugh.

"This was the sort of segment that enhances the perception that only mentally handicapped people are fans of 21st century WWE."

Yep, mentally handicapped people or perhaps very small children:

"Backstage, HHH spoke with MacGruber. MacGruber pissed himself but claimed implausibly that someone else had peed in his pants and he had agreed to wear them."

My five-year-old niece wet her bed a while back, and she implausibly claimed that her three-year-old sister had, in the middle of the night, come into her room and wet her bed. Our family had a good laugh at that, especially with all the details she provided about how she had told her sister not to do it, how she had tried to stop her, etc.

Apparently this is the level of the adults in the "WWE Universe".

This was definitely a "why do I watch this crap?" night. Those ads for a three-hour show next week (the draft) sure sounded frightening.

9:56 PM  
Anonymous Bob said...

Oh, and this may be a stupid complaint, but Cena's oh-so-sincere assurance that everyone was OK really rubbed me the wrong way for some reason. Yes, erupting volcanoes are scary if you're close to them, but in the UK the problem was DUST.

Maybe this bothered me because it's an instance of them once again treating us as if we're very small children who can't even understand the basics of a simple story. Apparently they pictured us sitting there crying and confused, wondering if the mean volcano had hurt them.

Or maybe the rest of the show just put me in such a bad mood that I'll complain about anything and everything.

On the bright side, the TNA show was, I thought, really fun. Not perfect, but fun.

10:03 PM  
Blogger AKFooFighter said...

"Jer-ree-cho"

That's about it. Fail.

- Matt in Anchorage

10:06 PM  
Blogger brian said...

Being UK-based I got home late last night and caught most of this show live. The Torch review summed it up nicely, 50 minutes in and 3 minutes of actual wrestling. I left the room for a few minutes and completely missed the Hardy match. WWE could get sued for false advertising because whatever it is it isn't wrestling these days.

3:20 AM  
Blogger hobbyfan said...

When your guest host plays a parody of an 80's icon and your head writer is an imbecile......!

WWE tried to make the best of a bad situation. They called Lillian Garcia and asked her to fill in for her successor, Justin Roberts, for one night. They asked Great Khali to come back for one night before resuming his vacation, and all that did was set up a likely Kozlov-Khali feud for down the line. Undertaker also took a break from his siesta, and Jack Swagger was made to look like a paper champ again. His title reign is resembling Rey Mysterio's 4 years ago. Not good.

We've seen better from Matt Hardy & Drew McIntyre on Smackdown. Not sure if Matt suffered a legit concussion, though Cole & Lawler were hinting that maybe he was.

I am not sure if HHH is a closet comics geek, but we know Edge, Rey Mysterio, and, as per WWE Magazine, CM Punk are comics fans. Since HHH writes his own material, referring to Luke & Serena as "bald wonder twins" struck me as a little off-base. There's the height difference, plus Serena has that Ellen Ripley post-shave look going on. We know this. Punk will win on Sunday. Not so sure about Hunter.

6:59 AM  
Anonymous mike said...

That was some horrible TV last night.

It could have been saved for me during the McGruber-HHH-Kane segment. When HHH was making fun of McGruber's pee-pee pants, I would have loved for Kane to have said "Well at least he didn't sleep with my dead girlfriend".

7:55 AM  
Anonymous SteRDLK said...

Judging by these comments, I seem to be the only person who liked most of this show, even McGruber.

Highlight of the night was definitely Jericho's song.

Close second, K-Kwik getting blown up.

Lowlight was Cena acting though they were stranded in an area recently hit by a tsunami, an earthquake, or a terrorist attack, rather than in an area affected so minimally by volcanic ash thousands of miles away. Not a single one of them is hurt. Fuck off Cena.

As for Swagger, just imagine if he had have won, but no, big bad Taker can't lose to geeky Jack. Im sure the WWE writing team is just a bunch of window lickers.

Just get Heyman and Cornette in to do some quality booking. I'm sure these 2 could easily transfer their creativity into a PG environment.

12:10 PM  
Anonymous nivek navillus said...

Todd - your report is my last link to WWE. I stopped watching years ago, canceled my sub to the Observer, barely even read the internet reports. How do you stand watching this drivel? Judging from what I read and the few times I've actually tuned in, every segment is intelligence-insulting, brain-rotting nonsense. Do you think there will ever be a point that you'll say that the product is so bad that you cannot bear to watch anymore?

12:52 PM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

I had the same reaction to Cena talking about being safe as well, actually. I decided not to write about it because there were 8,000 other things I took issue with, but I thought the same thing. Like we're concerned they're going to be engulfed in lava and need reassurance.

As far as giving up on the product, I doubt it any time soon. Mondays I've always watched wrestling, since Raw started and when it was Prime Time Wrestling before. It's part of my routine. I put up with some pretty awful sports franchises so I can put up with bad wrestling. But I can also certainly understand the people that have given up on the product and relate more to their perspective than the people who are enthusiastic about the current product.

12:03 AM  
Blogger Bobcat said...

I watched wrestling from the ages of 6-32, and I stopped watching it after WM 25, mainly because I thought the WWE was too immoral to support after reading Ring of Hell. I still read your reports, though, because I like the analysis of how the product should work and speculation about why it isn't working the way it should. Heck, even my wife likes your reports, and she's *never* watching wrestling.

9:48 AM  
Anonymous mcory said...

Last night's RAW would have been a great time to showcase the available RAW talent instead of importing the Smackdown roster. In fact, I wonder if a "showcase" approach would work in wrestling? For example, LOST highlights a different character each week. A weekly episode will contain all members of the cast, but the hour-long focus will be the story of the highlighted actor. I wonder if a similar approach would work in wrestling? Could the WWE or TNA hype a different wrestler each week? Focus on his interviews, matches, storyline, and career achievement throughout the entire 2 hours? If nothing else, the WWE could find out when the ratings are released if a wrestler was connecting with the audience or not.

11:08 AM  
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